A 42-year-old Virginia man identified as Jose Angel Zelaya has been arrested for speeding in a crash that killed a pastor’s 17-year-old daughter and gravely injured three teenagers.
Zelaya was reportedly driving at about double the legal 40 mph speed limit at the time of the collision which happened on Burke Center Parkway on July 18. The pastor’s daughter Rebekah “Bekah” Zarco died at the scene while her brother David who is a talented soccer player and two other teenagers were critically injured, reports Daily Voice
The crash happened during a local church’s nightly prayer session according to church leaders. The four teenagers were on their way to get food when their car collided with Zelaya’s vehicle. Bystanders reportedly attempted to rescue the teenagers from the car which caught fire following the collision before the arrival of firefighters on the scene.
After the incident, the deceased uncle Henry Zarco and her brother left a plush bear, flowers, and a balloon at the rash site. Zarco who noted his nephew David is “fighting for his life” also requested prayers for his family.
“She always liked stuffed animals. Thought I would bring her one,” Zarco told NBC Washington. “I mean, she always had a smile on her face, and that’s the image that I have in my head. She gave her all. She gave her life to God and served. And it’s just the hardest thing ever, you know. I just don’t understand why”
Bekah had just graduated from Robinson Secondary School and was preparing to enroll in George Mason University’s first-yea engineering program in the autumn.
A tremendous response from the community has been prompted by the tragedy in addition to the arrest. On GoFundMe, the Zarco family’s setup had amassed roughly $82,000 by Thursday.
The Zarco family expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support, calling for continued support and prayers during this challenging time.
According to Lt. James Curry, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Police Department, speed is thought to have been a significant contributing factor in the collision. The police however are continuing their investigation.